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FlashBazbo

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Reply with quote  #26 
Fakey, it might be always pickups in Canada.  Here, in Tennessee, it's always minivans!  WHY minivans? 
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jbrownjib

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Reply with quote  #27 
 I recently moved to the rural SW Kansas. 95% of the roads are farm roads which is a sandy/dirt mix. I've tried a cross bike but the wheel base is not wide enough for the gravel/sand roads Guys from a local bike shop have had success riding Fat bikes in the dry river bed of the Arkansas River. So I decided to buy a gravel bike that can run a 40mm tire. The gravel bike makes a tremendous difference in my ride quality. The cross bike could not handle washboard surface. The most I could ride on a cross bike was 35 miles before I was so beat up that I wanted to finish the ride. The cross bikes are too aggressive and not intended for endurance/comfort. Gravel races range from 50 to 200 miles. For those who race or ride centuries in the summer, Gravel races in the spring and fall expand the season in the same way cross does. There is money to be made in gravel bikes and that is why more are be made by several different companies. It is not a fad but a trend as others have stated. It is fun ride gravel that I do and it adds diversity to my rides. I think it is an expansion of road cycling just as mountain and cross and other forms of cycling. As the population seeks better fitness and as endurance events become more popular, gravel cycling will become more popular as well. Mountain, gravel, and cross get the cyclist off the main roads and allow the cyclist more tranquility and enjoyment of nature and varied local terrain.
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bigbadbern

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Reply with quote  #28 
Riding bikes on unpaved roads has been going on for as long as there have been bikes.  Did an event in Oregon last weekend...Dalles Mountain 60...a blast, and about every type of bike and set-up...and all kinds of kick ass riders too....great atmosphere...and maybe a bit like mountain biking, before it became mountain biking.  Definitely not a fad.  Also, somewhere in this thread someone dissed fixies...fixies have also been ridden by real riders ever since there have been bikes.  Smile with and at anyone who is on a bike...and lose your attitude...JMHO
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sgtrobo

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Reply with quote  #29 
racers ride road racing bikes or CX bikes.  Normal people who commute and like to ride recreationally will find CX and road racing bikes to be less comfortable (and ultimately less fun and useful) because the demands of CX and road racing on the bike's geometry run counter to the average joe's comfort level.


For me, a gravel bike is a simple concept with a few basic tenants

1. geometry - think Roubaix instead of Tarmac.  A bit more upright, a bit less 'twitchy', a bit more stable, a bit more relaxed, a good bit more comfortable
2. clearance - wider tires with a bit of knob make for a more comfortable, stable ride with better traction without sacrificing (much) road riding ability
3. usefulness - you can bikepack, you can throw a rack on the front and/or back, you can put fenders on and still have decent clearance for less-than-dry days.  this one isn't anecessarily a requirement, but for me, it's something I look for.

a gravel bike is simply a bike you can have fun on.  some people have fun by going as fast as possible on tarmac.  some people have fun by going as fast as possible down trails, over big roots and jumping off rocks.  Some people have fun being able to go out and explore and not be constrained by a most off-road paths being too "rough"

There are pretty clear distinctions between a road racing bike and a more relaxed road bike.  There are clear distinctions between a CX MTB and an Enduro MTB and a downhill MTB.  The 'gravel grinder' is simply a bike purpose-built to fill the niche that a lot of people will find useful, that is a comfortable bike that can go quickly on the road but still be able to handle some sketchy areas through the woods


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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #30 
My $.02: First my background -- I rode my first bike race as a 15 year old junior in Central Park NYC in 1958! Yup, folks raced bikes back in the dark ages. I've been involved with bikes ever since; and have seen and experienced just about everything in the post WW II American cycling and endurance sport scene. I rode my last bike race as 65 year old Masters rider in 2008. By then and many, many ... thousands of miles in the saddle, my lower back was shot and I was forced to retire from racing. For a few years, I tried recumbent's -- they helped a bit -- but I never enjoyed riding them the same way I enjoyed my upright bikes. Gradually, I returned to riding standard bikes, first a recreational hybrid, then gradually transitioning back to regular road bikes. I found that by doing fewer, and shorter rides, I can manage my back situation. Several years ago, I moved from the Metro NYC area, where I lived most of my life, to rural southern NH; and consequently discovered dirt roads. Miles and miles of them. At 73 years of age, I've discovered something new! For others, this may be old news; but for me it has been a revelation. Is it a fad? I don't know. I can tell you this- 
- I raced 10 speed road bikes in the the late 1950's and 1960's.
- I ran Marathons  in the late 60's and 70's.
- I did triathlons in the 80's
- I returned to bike racing as a Masters racer in the 90's and raced until 2008
In each of these times I was modestly successful, and amongst a bunch of pioneer athletes. And each of these American sports have grown from a small group of devotees, to high profile popular participation activities. Will this happen again with GG? If my past is any prediction, then I think it will. Here is an example of the kind of grass roots events that will continue to grow and attract interest: http://www.rosemountainrumble.com . I live about 5 miles from the start of this event. In fact, I plan to go out this morning to check out some of the roads on the course that I haven't ridden yet. See y'all at the Rumble this year!
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shoota

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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlashBazbo
There are counties in the U.S. that have no gravel roads at all.  It's easier to find a mountain bike trail.  For these people, eventually, it will be more trouble to transport their bike to gravel than they think it's worth.  For a lot of them, not all, gravel biking is a fad. It won't die for that group, but it will become much like mountain biking is,


Ding ding ding. Good luck finding a proper gravel bike in Tampa. There's no gravel around here. I think marketing them as all road bikes makes a lot more sense.
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ljsmith

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Reply with quote  #32 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoota
Ding ding ding. Good luck finding a proper gravel bike in Tampa. There's no gravel around here. I think marketing them as all road bikes makes a lot more sense.


I agree.  Gravel riding is absolutely a fad.  However, multi surface riding has, and always will be popular.  The one positive thing that has come out of the fad is that the bikes are finally starting to be designed for how regular people ride instead of everything being based on pro race bikes.  My "gravel" bike gets ridden on the road, singletrack, crushed limestone trails, C&O canal, rails to trails but it has never been on a gravel road.  
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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #33 
LOL! [rofl] .... the title of the thread. My first gravel race was 10 years ago, and during my road racing career that began in the late 80's we used to 50/50 paved/gravel to make training harder. I think a "fad" by definition requires this thing we're all talking about to be short-lived, not going for a decade +.

As for the 'gravel' vs 'all-road' thingy in terms of marketing I think both words are interchangeable when used in defining a category or in product descriptions. Just use one or the other and keep it classy by leaving it off the product. A perfect example of a marketing faux pax is Litespeed. They have an 'All-Road' category where both bikes are called "gravel". The new one to this model year even displays it on the top tube. Confusing and ugly in one fail swoop, like the marketing dept just gave up. Nonetheless, it's a sweet ride. I know a lot satisfied customers since we sell them, this is all just opinion. Many people out there on a Roubaix that never have ridden on cobblestones. Bet there's a lot of Cutthroat owners that have never cast a lure. Know what I mean?

All told the industry is silly at times.... The 'Run What Ya Brung' ethos of the gravel scene speaks for itself.

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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #34 
3 years after this thread was started...yeah...boy...that gravel grinding fad...man that burned out quick huh?
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #35 
Seriously though...who cares. Paved. Dirt. Gravel. Whatever. Just get out and ride your f#cking bike and stop bitching about what it's called. It's all cycling at the end of the day. Just be thankful you can ride your bikes.
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ljsmith

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Reply with quote  #36 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubster
3 years after this thread was started...yeah...boy...that gravel grinding fad...man that burned out quick huh?


Disco music was a fad.  It lasted quite a bit longer than 3 years.
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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #37 
I think you're getting fad confused with trend. The disco era was a trend, however godawful as it is people still listen to it. If gravel this or that was really a fad it would have died off in 2009 and participation rate wouldn't be still growing at this point.  
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A great set of wheels will make an average frame ride better. It doesn't work the other way around.  ~ridemagnetic
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ljsmith

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Reply with quote  #38 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridemagnetic
I think you're getting fad confused with trend. The disco era was a trend, however godawful as it is people still listen to it. If gravel this or that was really a fad it would have died off in 2009 and participation rate wouldn't be still growing at this point.  


I think you are confusing what you think a fad is, versus what a fad really is.  Some things that might help you:

1.  Look up the word fad in a dictionary.
2.  Do a google search for "disco fad"


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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #39 
trend
trend/
noun
 
  1. a general direction in which something is developing or changing.


fad
fad/
noun
 
  1. an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object's qualities; a craze.

Google's top comparison hit.....
Quote:
The easiest way to categorize a fad is one word: short-lived. ... Trends have a much longer lifespan than fads. In fact, they can continue to be fashionable for years and even decades. The primary difference between a trend and a fad is that trends have the potential to be long-term influencers on the market.




Was disco dancing and fashion a fad? Absolutely. Is the music? Absolutely not.  

Enough about disco. If you're going to honestly adhere to definitions, ljsmith, in terms of gravel we passed 'fad' status long ago.  

 



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Smithhammer

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Reply with quote  #40 
Not any more than gravel/dirt roads themselves are fads. 

Last time I checked, people were riding bikes on roads long before pavement was a thing.

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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #41 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drwelby
Gravel riding isn't a fad, it's a trend





Fixie bikes, on the other hand, are bikes that are defined more by style, not by their function. They're a fad.

I think there also should be a distinction between gravel riding and gravel bikes. The trend really is gravel riding. The events are inclusive and easy to organize and successfully pull off. They have a low barrier to entry for organizers and participants. Gravel bikes are the manufacturers attempt to sell bikes to something that now is at least an identifiable thing. They may end up overestimating demand, but this isn't an example of a manufacturer trying to invent a category to sell a new gruppo (anyone remember Formula 1?).


DrWelby I pretty much have agreed with you on everything you have posted so far. I can't agree with you about fixies being a fad. I can remember Emily Obrien riding the Furnace Creek 508 solo on a fixie back in 2005. I also just rode the Texas Stampede 1200k last year. Jason Pierce from CA. if I have the name right rode and finished that on a fixie. He finished I didn't On the fixie end they just aren't the norm and want to prove that they can do events on fixed gears. In most cases they are in better shape than those of us that have 25+ gears to chose from. As long as there are rides/races there will always be someone that wants to prove that they can do it on a fix gear. There just isn't that many of them.

When you look up the gravel grinding calendar now they are all over the world so looks like it isn't going away. [biggrin] I plan on taking full advantage of this and hope to some of you out there on the gravel grinding rides.

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #42 
Remember, 29ers are a fad too.
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RoverAl

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Reply with quote  #43 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoota
Ding ding ding. Good luck finding a proper gravel bike in Tampa. There's no gravel around here. I think marketing them as all road bikes makes a lot more sense.   


Hey Shoota I'm in Tampa also and I agree 100 percent. In fact before I bought my Willard(online)I asked flying fish bikes if they had a Tamland and they basically knew nothing about it a year or so ago. Told me their customers want mtb or cx bikes and that cx bikes were the same thing. I said what about me and they told me to go to a Jamis dealer and check out the renegade. Wtf right? Just about any gravel bike I was interested in buying locally except the Diverge was by special order  bs. 

Anyway your right about having to travel for any decent gravel. Withlacoochee area has some and Van fleet off the trail too. Other than that it's hard to find here.
I ride Flatwoods most of the time and do the easy trails scattered throughout the park.

Oh and whether it's a fad or not I don't think so. I'm just glad to have a sturdy common man bike that isn't made for skinny tires only.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #44 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoverAl


Hey Shoota I'm in Tampa also and I agree 100 percent. In fact before I bought my Willard(online)I asked flying fish bikes if they had a Tamland and they basically knew nothing about it a year or so ago. Told me their customers want mtb or cx bikes and that cx bikes were the same thing. I said what about me and they told me to go to a Jamis dealer and check out the renegade. Wtf right? Just about any gravel bike I was interested in buying locally except the Diverge was by special order  bs. 

Anyway your right about having to travel for any decent gravel. Withlacoochee area has some and Van fleet off the trail too. Other than that it's hard to find here.
I ride Flatwoods most of the time and do the easy trails scattered throughout the park.

Oh and whether it's a fad or not I don't think so. I'm just glad to have a sturdy common man bike that isn't made for skinny tires only.


Hey RoverAl isn't the Flatlands where Amanda Cocker is riding her Hammer rides? Have you seen her? That is one bad ass rider for sure.

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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RoverAl

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Reply with quote  #45 
Yes Flatwoods is where Amanda rides, she captured the womans mileage record in a year and is now going after the mens title. Very nice park to ride there is a 7 mile paved loop. Yes see her all the time there her back story is very interesting.

Oh and props to Guitar Teds blog about gravel riding because that is where I first learned several years ago about gravel bikes and their overall coolness.
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shoota

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Reply with quote  #46 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoverAl


Hey Shoota I'm in Tampa also and I agree 100 percent. In fact before I bought my Willard(online)I asked flying fish bikes if they had a Tamland and they basically knew nothing about it a year or so ago. Told me their customers want mtb or cx bikes and that cx bikes were the same thing. I said what about me and they told me to go to a Jamis dealer and check out the renegade. Wtf right? Just about any gravel bike I was interested in buying locally except the Diverge was by special order  bs. 

Anyway your right about having to travel for any decent gravel. Withlacoochee area has some and Van fleet off the trail too. Other than that it's hard to find here.
I ride Flatwoods most of the time and do the easy trails scattered throughout the park.

Oh and whether it's a fad or not I don't think so. I'm just glad to have a sturdy common man bike that isn't made for skinny tires only.


That's exactly what I did (ordered a Renegade, with no test ride).
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #47 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoverAl
Yes Flatwoods is where Amanda rides, she captured the womans mileage record in a year and is now going after the mens title. Very nice park to ride there is a 7 mile paved loop. Yes see her all the time there her back story is very interesting.

Oh and props to Guitar Teds blog about gravel riding because that is where I first learned several years ago about gravel bikes and their overall coolness.


Yeah I google something and came across this forum back on Easter weekend so yeah it's all brand new to me.

She has already smashed the men's title as she is something around 80,000 miles. I hear she is going after some 100,000 mile record.

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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egear

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Reply with quote  #48 
I believe gravel/dirt and single track on something other then a flatbar bike is here to stay.  A fad is defined as the fat bike.  Sold a ton of these things 2 years ago.  Cant hardly give one away now.
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Smithhammer

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Reply with quote  #49 
Quote:
Originally Posted by egear
.... A fad is defined as the fat bike.  Sold a ton of these things 2 years ago.  Cant hardly give one away now.


Might depend quite a bit on where you are located. I live in a place with a thriving fat bike scene. But a big part of the reason for that is that for close to half the year, it's the only choice if you wanna ride a bike. 

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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #50 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithhammer


Might depend quite a bit on where you are located. I live in a place with a thriving fat bike scene. But a big part of the reason for that is that for close to half the year, it's the only choice if you wanna ride a bike. 


I probably would have to agree with you. My thoughts on the fat bike is that it would be for a place that had lots of snow or lots of sand. I luv to snowshoe but you need around 6" of snow for that. Here in Mid Central Pa. we only had one snow storm of 6" and that was late in the year.

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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